Friday’s Pregame Shootaround: No. 9 Baylor, VCU in action

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Drexel at Southern Miss, 8:00 p.m.

This one should be a quality contest, with the Dragons and Golden Eagles both expected to be contenders in their respective conferences. Bruiser Flint’s team may be without Damion Lee (torn ACL) but he’s still got Chris Fouch and Frantz Massenat, and Tavon Allen’s proven to be a capable third scorer.

As for Donnie Tyndall’s Southern Miss squad, they’ve won three straight after losing at Western Kentucky. Balance is the key for the Golden Eagles, with Neil Watson (12.1 ppg) being one of five players averaging between nine and 12.1 points per game. The key for Drexel: taking care of the basketball. Southern Miss may be averaging 14.0 turnovers per game but they’re forcing nearly 18.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Stony Brook at VCU, 9:00 p.m.

Speaking of turnovers, that will also be key for Steve Pikiell’s Seawolves as they visit VCU. VCU’s forcing 20.4 turnovers per game, and when playing the Rams the type of turnover is as important as the quantity. Dead-ball turnovers can be managed; it’s the live-ball turnovers that all VCU to get out in the open floor and in many cases bury the opposition. This game will also feature a really good individual matchup in Stony Brook’s Jameel Warney and VCU’s Juvonte Reddic, with the sophomore Warney being one of the early favorites (if not the favorite) to win America East Player of the Year honors.


1) No. 9 Baylor plays its final non-conference game, hosting Savannah State in Waco. With the Tigers being 2-11 this should be an easy game for the Bears. Scott Drew’s team needs to drop the hammer early.

2) 11-2 George Washington hosts Georgia in a game the Colonials should win. Mike Lonergan’s team has surprised people, with Indiana transfer Maurice Creek (16.1 ppg) leading four players scoring in double figures.

3) South Carolina hosts South Carolina State in a game the Gamecocks will be expected to win, and a stat to watch will be the turnover count. South Carolina State’s averaging 15 per game, and if Frank Martin’s team can apply pressure they may be able to produce some scoring opportunities as a result.

4) Omaha’s trip to Hawaii has the potential to be intriguing as well, with both teams having won ten games. The Mavericks’ chances of winning will depend on whether or not they can slow down Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger inside.

5) Central Connecticut State’s struggled defensively, as opponents are scoring an average of 77.1 points per game and shooting 46.7% from the field. The Blue Devils visit Coastal Carolina, which has three talented guards (Josh Cameron, Warren Gillis and Elijah Wilson) capable of giving them fits.

Labissiere scores 16 as top-ranked Kentucky beats BU 82-62

Eric Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe
Leave a comment

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Freshman center Skal Labissiere scored 16 points to lead top-ranked Kentucky past Boston University 82-62 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (5-0) used a big second half to overcome Boston U. in their season debut at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. One day after taking over the top spot, Kentucky struggled to put away the Terriers early but outscored them 42-29 in the second half.

Labissiere finished 7 of 13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Ulis added 15 points, and Alex Poythress had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his second straight double-double.

Jamal Murray scored 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe had 11. Kentucky, which spent all of last season ranked No. 1, scored 58 points in the paint and closed with a 22-9 run.

Boston University (2-3) got 15 points from John Papale. Nathan Dieudonne and Kyle Foreman scored 11 apiece.

The Wildcats raced out to a 10-0 lead 3 minutes into the game, but Boston University settled down after making its first basket and kept the score close in the first half by hitting five shots from long range.

The Terriers led 34-33 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the last six points of the period to regain the lead.

Labissiere paced the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half, followed by Murray with 10.


Kentucky: The Wildcats improved to 216-28 as the top-ranked team in the country and have won 61 of their last 64 games while holding the top spot. Under coach John Calipari, Kentucky is 63-5 as the top-ranked team in the AP poll.

Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-5 against Kentucky. … Boston University missed its first four shots and didn’t score its first basket until the 16:55 mark of the first half. … Dieudonne, a graduate of Louisville Trinity, was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2012.


Kentucky plays Friday against South Florida at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Boston University plays Saturday at Binghamton.

Division III William Paterson forfeits game to protest coach’s firing

William Paterson Athletics
William Paterson Athletics
Leave a comment

William Paterson, a Division III basketball program in New Jersey, forfeited a game on Tuesday night to protest the firing of their head coach, Jose Rebimbas.

Rebimbas, a player for the 1990 Seton Hall team that reached the national title game, had been with the program for 20 years, amassing nearly 400 wins, winning six league titles and reaching nine NCAA tournaments. He announced his firing earlier this week on FaceBook, and the players on his team responded by boycotting Tuesday night’s matchup with Ramapo.

Dylan Burns, a William Paterson student that does play-by-play for the school’s athletic teams, tweeted that the basketball players came out of the locker room for layups lines, took off their warmups, threw them in a pile on the court and walked off the floor.

The following screengrabs from instagram videos that have since been removed show the players leaving the floor:

Screengrab via Instagram

And the jerseys piled in the middle of the court:

Screengrab via Instagram

The crowd at the game can be heard cheering when it is announced that the game has been forfeited.

Rebimbas wrote the following on FaceBook over the weekend:

“It is with great sadness and extreme frustration that after today I will not be coaching the basketball team at William Paterson University. WP has been my home and family for more than 20 years and yet the University has taken action to remove me from the service I love. People I have trusted and served with have defied logic and are pursing my termination because of a misunderstanding over a facility rental fee for a camp that I run.”

“These actions come despite the University hearing officer determining that termination was not warranted. The University has unfairly and illegally taken my right to coach and mentor the student-athletes I love. I am prepared to fight the actions of William Paterson University and restore my good name and that of the program.”